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Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari Criticizes Budget 2024-25 in Maiden NA Speech

Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari, the First Lady of Pakistan and a prominent leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) delivered a poignant maiden speech in the National Assembly on Sunday, sharply criticizing the federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25. In a session marked by division over military operations and economic policies, Aseefa expressed her disappointment, arguing that the proposed budget failed to address the pressing needs of Pakistan’s populace.

Standing in the historic chamber where her family has left an indelible mark, Aseefa emotionally acknowledged her legacy and the weight of responsibility that comes with representing her constituents from Shaheed Benazirabad. She lamented the current economic challenges facing the nation, including soaring inflation, unemployment, poverty, and environmental crises exacerbated by climate change.

“We envisioned a budget that prioritized the welfare of farmers, laborers, and the working class,” Aseefa declared, stressing the need to bridge the wealth gap and combat inequality. She accused the budget of favoring the wealthy and large corporations while neglecting the marginalized segments of society.

Directly challenging the government’s fiscal policies, Aseefa posed a critical question to the assembly: “Do the people of Pakistan deserve this anti-people budget?” She called for unity among stakeholders to craft a budget that truly reflects the aspirations and needs of the Pakistani people, advocating for relief measures for the most vulnerable.

The PPP, traditionally aligned with the ruling coalition led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has been vocal about its reservations regarding the budget’s implications and the lack of prior consultation. Negotiations between the PPP and the government have reportedly led to concessions, including commitments to allocate development funds and administrative appointments in Punjab.

As the debate over the budget intensifies, Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari’s impassioned critique underscores growing discontent and calls for a more inclusive and equitable approach to economic governance in Pakistan. Her speech marks a significant moment in her emerging political career, as she navigates the complex terrain of parliamentary politics while carrying forward the legacy of her renowned political family.

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